In Japanese tradition, a ceremonial bronze bell which was kept buried in hillside santuaries away from everyday village life, and brought out only for use in certain agricultural rituals. Dotaku and their molds have been found in the Kinai (Kyoto-Osaka) district and the coastal region of the Inland Sea. Dotaku are classified chronologically into four groups, according to the styles of their handles. Though originally made to suspend the bells, handles became less functional and more ornamental in later years.Example: Japanese, Dotaku, Yayoi Period, 2nd-1st century BCE, bronze bell, height 42.7 cm, reportedly excavated in Kagawa Prefecture, Tokyo National Museum. Japanese authorities consider this a "National Treasure."Also see Japanese art.